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In today’s world, industries, jobs, and skills are constantly changing. Ever-evolving technology means that jobs are more dynamic – shifting and adapting as industries grow and change. So how do you upgrade your career in an environment of such change?

Ask for an evaluation

Asking your boss for a career evaluation is as bold as it is brave. You’ll get excellent feedback and insight into where you are, what may be holding you back and what your potential is. Be prepared to accept the good and the bad. Some of the critique might sting, but it will be invaluable when you create an action plan to improve your performance.

Take a look at your options

Before setting your long and short term goals, you need to understand your current landscape and how you want to navigate it. According to Susan M. Heathfield, there are multiple ways to experience career growth. Job shadow other employees to learn about different jobs. Explore lateral moves to broaden and deepen your experience. Seek a mentor from a different department that you’d like to explore. 

While looking at your options, it’s good to have an understanding of what your values are and which options align with them. Do you value time off, working remotely, salary, work-life balance? Knowing yourself and your career options is an important step. It will be the foundation of your career map; a map that shows you where you are and all the possible ways to get you where you want to be.

Look for the gaps

Now that you have a career growth map, it’s time to look at what you don’t know. Career advancement isn’t just about capitalizing on what you already know, but it’s also based on your capacity to learn and adapt your skills. In a recent Manpower study, 46% of Millennials believe improving your skills and qualifications is the most important part of reaching the next job level. The same study also stated:

“Higher learnability correlates strongly with career success—being more educated, better prepared for employment and higher paid.”

Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision, Manpower Group®

Here are some questions to ask when evaluating your knowledge gaps. What are the skills your organization or industry are currently lacking, what can make you stand out and above others? What technology is trending or likely to be more important as you advance in your career. Be sure not to forget about soft skills. Soft skills like leadership and communication matter just as much technical skills once you reach a certain level.

Acquire new skills

Effective, short-form courses are a great way to acquire new skills, but not all programs are created equal. During your search, look for programs that work with your lifestyle and share your values. Get resourceful;  your current job may offer tuition reimbursement for certain certifications and courses. Do your research. Look for reviews, informational packets, speak with recruiters. Find a program that is dedicated to helping you achieve your career goals.

UMBC Training Centers offers programs specifically designed for starting a new career or growing one you’re already in. As part of UMBC, a renowned public research university, UMBC Training Centers offers students a chance to improve their professional lives through easy access to high quality education and proven training courses.

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